Monday, June 03, 2013

Mediocrity is as Mediocrity Does

So it turns out that the poster child for the latest challenge to affirmative action, Abigail Fischer, was actually a significantly sub-par applicant to the University of Texas, falling well short of both the top 10% of her high school class that would have guaranteed her admissions and with an SAT score well below the UT average. This mediocrity combined with entitlement makes her typical of so many (though not all) opponents of affirmative action. She would not have gotten into UT anyway, but wants to claim that she is a victim of racial preferences rather than her own undistinguished high school record.

Keep in mind that in college admissions there are admissions rates, but there are also yield rates. And so when someone does not get into an incoming class, they did not just fall short of those who entered the class, but of a whole lot of people who chose to go elsewhere. If a school has a yield rate of 50% it means that the freshman class that enters is only half the number of people accepted.  Abigail Fischer's racialized resentment does not necessarily make her a racist, but it does show someone perfectly willing to play the role of aggrieved white person victimized not by her own limitations but by the supposed privilege that African Americans have in a state with a long history of slavery, segregation, and institutionalized racism, including generations of segregation and a long struggle to combat it at the University of Texas.

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